Fiscal Policy Institute (FPI), that moved into its new campus at Kengeri on Saturday, has identified 150 competencies to train government officials from implementing budget to public financial management.
The new campus of FPI, funded by the State government, is said to be the first such institution set up exclusively for training government officials in fiscal management in the country. It was inaugurated by Chief Minister Jagadish Shettar on Saturday. The website of the institute-- www.fpibangalore.gov.in-- was also launched on the occasion.
The five-acre campus located in Kengeri has five centres for specialised training and research with residential facilities. The institution has come up at a cost of Rs 33 crore. FPI, which was established in 2007, was functioning from a small office on Cunningham Road.
Speaking to Deccan Herald, FPI Director P R Devi Prasad said the institute has identified 150 sectors to upgrade the competencies of government officials.
The competencies have been identified on the basis of feedback and suggestions from top officers with insights into Parliamentary system of government and also from the observations in various performance audit reports of Comptroller and Auditor General of India. FPI has also referred to training curriculum used in developed countries for advancing the competencies of civil servants.
Prasad said the faculty at the institute will comprise senior government officials, those with insights into government functioning and also academicians. The modules identified for training include public finance management, risk analysis, revenue management, social audit, project appraisal, e-tendering, data quality monitoring and management among others.
Shettar said the institute will become a model for other states to emulate. It will help government officials in meeting the challenges and changes in taxation procedure, data analysis and treasury management besides bringing in expenditure reforms in various departments.
He hoped the institute will come out with roadmaps to streamline and usher in transparency in public financial procedures. Additional Chief Secretary L V Nagarajan said the launch of integrated software ‘Khajane-2’ for treasury management will soon ensure that all government transactions are made online.
Union Minister for Minority Affairs K Rahman Khan, speaking on the occasion, called for ushering in drastic changes in the financial account keeping system in the government.
“We are still stuck with age old system of account keeping which is neither transparent nor relevant today. It is time to change the system.
The shift from single entry to accrual-based accounting system is the right step in this direction,” Khan said. He said departments should focus on achieving results of targeted programmes by moving beyond just keeping records of spendings and receipts.
Departments should also put in place measures to curb cost escalation. “Lack of financial planning can hamper projects at the cost of tax-payers money.
The Konkan Railway, for instance, was initially supposed to cost Rs 800 crore. But due to time escalation, the project ended up costing Rs 4,000 crore. Proper financial planning and implementation could have saved us a lot of money,” he said.